My Dream 40th Birthday Party

*There are also more details about the food in THIS post.

I didn’t ever appreciate the phrase “40 is the new 30” until I turned 40 years old this month!  Growing up I truly thought 30 was super old and by the time you turned 40 you were ancient.  I completely grateful to be 100% wrong!
40 actually feels really good.  In a way that I actually truly like who I am for the first time in my life.  Not that I was a complete hater of myself before, but it’s sure nice to finally be comfortable with being me.  I (mostly) know what I want out of life and I knew I wanted a beautiful party for this milestone birthday.
For a few years now I’ve been planning and pinning ideas of what I wanted and my husband made it all come true for me!  I didn’t want it to be huge, but I definitely wanted it to be spectacular.  He planned the majority of it with the ideas I gave him and it turned out perfect!

The very first thing he did was plan the cake which I had zero input in.  He wanted it to be a complete surprise and that it was!  More about this gorgeous cake below.

I knew I wanted a picnic style charcuterie dinner with my friends so he arranged to have them bring some of my favorite foods for the spread!
The ultimate Charcuterie Spread! A beautiful outdoor party! |
This was all done in our back yard.  The first location (a park nearby) wasn’t going to work out so we prepped our minimalist back yard for the party.  It turned out really well.  The tablescape was the true focus.
Gorgeous buttercream and chocoalte cake! Love these ranuculus flowers! |
And THIS cake!  Ian and I both commented on how it was even more gorgeous that our wedding cake!  It was not only absolutely stunning, but it was decadent and one of the best cakes I’ve ever had.  It was dark chocolate with a strawberry cream filling then frosted in a delectable buttercream frosting.   A friend of my husband (who graduated from Le Cordon Bleu) created this and I will forever be grateful to Kim!  You can see more of her work HERE.
The ultimate Charcuterie Spread! A beautiful outdoor backyard party! |

Since one man can only do so much, I helped Ian set the table before everyone came over.  Even though it was a birthday party for me, I love having my friends together to make them feel special as well.  As cheesy as this sounds, it was just a celebratory night of life and love.

We already had most of the items, but purchased more trays, boards, linen napkins and flatware.  My good friend Amanda shared a tip with me years ago to use a painter’s drop cloth (clean of course!) as a table linen.  It’s neutral in color, goes with anything and you don’t have to worry when it gets dirty.

The ultimate Charcuterie Spread! A beautiful outdoor backyard party! |

Our napkins and plates were all white and we used mason jars for drinking glasses.


Ian also wanted to surprise me with a fun little back drop made up of helium balloons and balloon lights.  When it turned dark outside it was supposed to have this glowy atmosphere however…it was super windy so most of the balloons got tangled up in eachother or popped because of all the wind.  For the balloons that did last, the lights were on hours later so those were a success.  We also scattered them throughout the table to add a little light which was fun.  You can buy them HERE.

Along with the balloon lights we had battery operated candles on the table and these LED Starry Twinkle lights.  We also had them strung on the back fence.  What’s great about these is they are solar powered and last for hours!  We plan on actually buying more and putting them along the whole length of our fence.  You can find them HERE.

Of course I couldn’t resist taking pictures of my own party and I’m sure happy I did.  I want to remember this night forever!
The ultimate Charcuterie Spread! A beautiful outdoor backyard party! |

I helped Ian set out the food right before our guests arrived then we put their food on the table as well.  You can find out all the details about the table and how to build a charcuterie board HERE.

We had my most favorite drink in the entire world San Pellagrino Melograno E Arancia (Pomegranate Orange).  I tell everyone it’s like me in a can!  We also had some friends bring IBC Rootbeer and Cream Sodas.
It was such a magical night with eating, talking and laughing with my husband and friends.
I truly just wanted everyone to get there hands in there, not worry about double dipping and simply enjoy the food.  It was fun to watch everyone’s face while discovering something new on the board in front of them.  We all came up with crazy combinations and loved every bit of it.
The ultimate Charcuterie Spread! A beautiful outdoor backyard party! |

We ate until it got dark (even if it was a little chilly) and then ate some more.  Someone made the comment that we ate for 2 hours straight!

As the night went on the laughing got more frequent and the food on the table slowly was gone.  The table was even more gorgeous as the candles and lights got more bright as the sky got darker.

Shortly before we were wrapping up outside, we hear this loud shot!  Then all of a sudden we see fireworks right above us!  I turned to look at my husband in utter amazement thinking he had pulled off fireworks for my party!  Fireworks are my most favorite thing in the entire world!  He quickly reminded me that earlier in the day we noticed that behind our house and across the street someone was celebrating their kid’s birthday.  It was perfect timing none the less!  The night couldn’t have gone more perfect!

Some had to leave early to relieve baby sitters or to put their babies to bed.  We cut into the cake and even after eating for 2 hours straight, everyone enjoyed a slice of chocolate heaven.  I kind of hated cutting into it, but I sure have loved having a slice of it throughout the week!

Gorgeous buttercream and chocoalte cake! Love these ranuculus flowers! |
I’m still living off the birthday high and excitement of it all.  I’m truly grateful to my husband for working so hard in throwing this for me.  He said he was making up for the 17 years he didn’t have a party for me!  I’ll take it!


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